Born and raised in Brooklyn, Pastry Chef Felix Castro grew up in a large Latin family with a deep love of food. At the young age of 16, Felix began working in a family owned pizzeria and developed an intense passion and curiosity for the culinary arts. Realizing the harder he worked, the more he learned and the more passionate he became about cooking, Felix enrolled in the Culinary Academy of New York while working a full time job. Finding his love and talent for pastry, Felix was determined to learn more and enrolled in the Patisserie Program at Le Cordon Bleu in San Francisco where he graduated with high honors.
After returning to New York City, Felix worked in the kitchens at Morimoto, Spice Market, The 21 Club, Post House and The Hurricane Club. After being introduced to world renowned pastry guru Pichet Ong, Felix was hired as the Executive Pastry Chef of Pichet’s downtown hotspot, Spot Dessert. Felix also created and executed the pastry program for all three locations of Ong’s Qi Thai venture. Pichet quickly noticed Felix’s talents in pastry and introduced him to restaurateur Julian Media where Felix quickly rose to oversee pastry operations for Coppelia, Yerba Buena and Toloache where he gained a following as the Latin pastry chef.
Felix has also been featured in the book Street Eats by Alan Battman and has worked on events for The James Beard Foundation and Food & Wine magazine. He is passionate about giving back and serves his community as an advisor to the Culinary Academy where he mentors culinary students. http://urbanchefnyc.blogspot.com
Bobby Gonzalez is a multicultural motivational speaker, storyteller and poet.
His new book “Taino Zen”will be published in the fall of 2014.
Visit his website at www.BobbyGonzalez.com For speaking engagements contact him at BronxTaino@aol.com
Benjamin Ramos-Rosado is a food blog writer, Activist, and Radio show host, he works at WBAI New York.
His blog is known, as Sofrito is my soul he writes about all types of cuisine.
You can visit him at http://sofritoinmysoul.blogspot.com
Marissa Ocassio is a wine and spirits professional.
While in New York she had various roles at distributors and wineries such as Kendall-Jackson, Domaine Chandon and Simi, and Schieffelin & Somerset (joint venture of LVMH and Diageo) She is Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) Certiﬁed Advanced and a Diploma candidate. She conducts wine classes and interactive seminars on the components of wine and on the very dynamic world of mixology. Resides in Connecticut, is an avid reader, an enthusiastic bicycle rider and involved in various philanthropic organizations.
She can be contacted at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Norma Torres is a food blogger who started Platanos, Mangoes and Me a successful food blog.
She is a world traveler always looking for that perfect dish to try and taste. She loves to cook and experiment with ﬂavors.
She has presented many traditional Latin dishes and given them a more contemporary ﬁnish. She is a personal Chef, has her own catering business, and works also as a personal assistant.
Visit her blog at http://platanosmangoes.com
Noelle A. Ramos-Vasconcelos Our former contributing editor is the founder of ReOrgYou, Inc. (dba ReOrg)
a boutique professional home and ofﬁce organization company.
Visit ReOrgYou at http://www.reorgyou.com
Erisbelia (Eris) Garriga was born in Barrio Campo Alegre in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. She did undergraduate studies at the University of Puerto Rico and graduate studies at New York University. Since the age of 10 she would help her mother prepare sofrito by grinding garlic with oregano and adobo in the pilon. For years she had wanted to write down her family recipes. Her passion for good food led her to finally sit down with her parents to share most of the recipes in her first book, Sabrosuras Boricuas. Since then she has written several books culminating with her latest one Eris Green Kitchen. http://homestylepuertoricancooking.weebly.com